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2010 UCAR Outstanding Accomplishment Award Nominations

Below are the nominations for this year's UCAR Outstanding Accomplishment Awards.  Please plan to join us at the awards ceremony next Friday, 10 December, at 3:30pm in the Center Green Auditorium.

Outstanding Publication Award Nominations

 Wen-Chau Lee (EOL/RSF) and Josh Wurman (Center for Severe Storm Research and EOL/RSF Visiting Scientist) for their paper on one of the most important observational studies of intense tornado structure to date, using two important advances in atmospheric observation and analysis:  The Doppler-on-Wheels (DOW) radar and the Ground-Based-Velocity-Track-Display (GBVTD) analysis method.  This was a major accomplishment, since a Doppler radar can only measure the radial velocity component of the wind, and as such, it could not resolve the detailed axisymmetric structure before implementing the GBVTD methodology.  This method has led to accurate estimates of the central low pressure within the tornado core, which were previously difficult to ascertain.  Such information is fundamental to understanding tornado structure and dynamics.  Lee and Wurman's paper will set the standard for tornado analyses in the years to come, and it has been cited 19 times since its publication.   (This publication is a nominee resubmission.)

Lee, W.-C. and J. Wurman, 2005:  Diagnosed three-dimensional axisymmetric structure of the Mulhall tornado on 3 May 1999. Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, 62 (7), 2373-2393.


Paty Romero Lankao (RAL), Doug Nychka (CISL/IMAGe) and John Tribbia (formerly at ISSE) for their paper, which  contributes in pioneering ways to the heated debate about greenhouse gas emissions and how they are related to the development trajectories, status, and economic characteristics of countries worldwide.  The paper also provides an innovative foundation for how to incorporate socio-economic aspects into the physical sciences' global carbon cycle discussion.  This work will have a major and lasting impact on interdisciplinary sciences and environmental policy alike.  "This article represents a courageous and successful attempt to deal with grand questions, while approaching them in a methodologically sound way…"

Romero Lankao, P., D. Nychka, and J. L. Tribbia, 2008:  Development and greenhouse gas emissions deviate from the "modernization" theory and "convergence" hypothesisClimate Research, 38, 17-29.


Peter Sullivan (NESL/MMM) and James C. McWilliams (UCLA) for their paper that describes and quantifies in great detail the structure of the wind-driven stably-stratified mid-latitude oceanic surface turbulent boundary layer (OBL), the overlying atmospheric boundary layer (ABL), and their coupling to the surface wavefield using large-eddy and direct numerical simulation (LES and DNS).  This paper is a tour de force that succinctly summarizes the seminal work carried out by Peter and his collaborators over the past decade; it also outlines further research that needs to be done in this important area.  The authors not only summarize current understanding but also set the stage for using newly acquired knowledge to improve large-scale models. 

Sullivan, P. P. and J. C. McWilliams, 2010:  Dynamics of winds and currents coupled to surface wavesAnnual Review of Fluid Mechanics, 42, 19-42.


Laura Pan (NESL/ACD), Ken Bowman (Texas A&M), Mel Shapiro (NESL/MMM), William Randel (NESL/ACD), Rushan Gao (NOAA, Boulder), Teresa Campos (NESL/ACD), Chris Davis (NCAR/ASP), Sue Schauffler (EOL), Brian Ridley (NESL/ACD), Jennifer Wei (QSS Group, Inc., Lanham, MD) and Chris Barnet (NOAA, Maryland) for their paper that presents the first observational study, using multiple chemical tracer measurements onboard the Gulfstream V research aircraft to investigate the chemical behavior of the tropopause on a synoptic scale.  This paper brings to light a key new discovery on the asymmetric structure of the chemical transition associated with a tropopause fold, which connects the chemical behavior of the tropopause to the dynamical meteorological conditions. 

Pan, L. L., K. P. Bowman, M. Shapiro, W. J. Randel, R-S. Gao, T. Campos, C. Davis, S. Schauffler, B. A. Ridley, J. C. Wei and C. Barnet, 2007:  Chemical behavior on the tropopause observed during the Stratosphere-Troposphere Analyses of Regional Transport (START) experimentJ. Geophys. Res., 112, D18110, doi:10.1029/2007JD008645. 


Steven Tomczyk (HAO), Scott McIntosh (HAO), Stephen Keil (National Solar Observatory), Philip Judge (HAO), Thomas Schad (University of Notre Dame), Dan Seeley (Framingham High School), and Justin Edmondson (University of Michigan) for their publication, which has been hailed as a remarkable, ground-breaking paper that will certainly become a solar physics classic.  It has been cited over 80 times to date.  The authors report the detection of Alfvén waves in the corona.  These novel observations reveal that these waves are ubiquitous in the Sun's hot outer atmosphere and provide theoretical interpretation that shows the energy flux carried by these waves is incapable of heating the corona, an important finding in the quest to solve the long-standing coronal heating problem.  The detection of these waves will also prove invaluable to the emerging field of coronal seismology in inferring many physical properties of the corona.

Tomczyk, S., S. McIntosh, S. Keil, P. Judge, T. Schad, D. Seeley, and J. Edmondson, 2007:  Alfvén waves in the solar corona.  Science, 317, 1192-1196.

Mentoring Award Nominations

Arthur (Art) Richmond (HAO) for his exemplary and sustained mentoring efforts that directly enhance the professional development of numerous scientists at all stages of their careers (from undergraduates to postdoctoral scientists and beyond).  Art's approach to mentoring provides protégés with a supportive environment for them to explore their interests, learn skills for carrying out their research, and present themselves effectively in the scientific community.

Wojciech (Wojtek) Grabowski (NESL/MMM) for his outstanding and continual mentoring efforts of graduate students and early career scientists.  Wojciech has dedicated significant time and energy into guiding, educating, and building confidence in junior researchers.  His relentless efforts have been effective in not only shaping careers but also mitigating some of the stress imposed by the research environment. 

Administrative Achievement Award Nominations

Richard (Rick) C. Johnson, as the Division Administrator for HAO, for financial planning and budget monitoring, project management, and human resources.  Rick instituted innovative systems for quantitatively assessing and projecting the HAO budget situation and outcome and prepared annual budget review information and documentation that is a model for unit management.  He also assisted the HAO instrumentation group management by instituting procedures and software that have improved organization and function, consulting with NESL on project management initiatives.  Further Rick has facilitated a highly collaborative administrative support group within HAO, providing a lucid resource for HAO staff in the performance appraisal process.  He has had a tremendously positive impact on the efficient operation of the Observatory and its participation in ESSL (while HAO was part of ESSL) and NCAR. 

Jamaica Jones (NCAR/Library), Jonathan Ostwald (UCP/DLS), Katy Ginger (UCP/DLS), Lynne Davis (UCP/DLS), Sharon Clark (UCP/DLS), Kate Legg (NCAR/Library), Leslie Forehand (NCAR/Library), Loretta Melhado (NCAR/Library), Michael Flanagan (NCAR/Library), Faith Percell (NCAR/Library), and Mary Chavez (NCAR/Library) for the development of OpenSky, an institutional repository for UCAR, NCAR, and UCP.  OpenSky provides open access to UCAR's scholarly output, creating global visibility and accessibility, while preserving these institutional assets for future use.   The OpenSky team designed, developed, and deployed this repository in 18 months.  It not only serves to open our intellectual assets to the broader community, but also functions as the primary deposit and verification tool for the NCAR Annual Report (NAR), a critical function for supporting institutional metrics and reporting on outcomes to NSF and other sponsors.  Additionally, OpenSky provides valuable information about authors' rights and intellectual property, as stipulated by 700 publishers.  The net result is an increased level of sophistication and fidelity for metrics critical not only to individual scientists' careers but also to the National Science Foundation.

Scientific and Technical Advancement Award Nominations

Tom Baltzer (EOL/CDS), Chris Burghart (EOL/CDS), Ling-Ling Dong (EOL/CDS), Gary Granger (EOL/CDS), Gordon Maclean (EOL/ISF), Charlie Martin (EOL/CDS), John Wasinger (EOL/CDS), and Chris Webster (EOL/RAF) for the NCAR In-Situ Data Acquisition System (NIDAS).  NIDAS was designed from the ground up to meet new observing system requirements including high-speed sensors, new measurements, multiple data sampling modules across a geographical location or airborne platform, and the demand for real-time data over the Internet.  NIDAS (with data acquisition, display and telemetry system components) is flexible enough to be used on multiple platforms, achieving unprecedented usage across these diverse platforms and serving as the critical interface between high-speed sensors and scientific data analysis by researchers around the globe.

Steven Tomczyk (HAO), Gregory Card (HAO) and Anthony Darnell (Space Telescope Science Institute) for constructing the Coronal Multi-Channel Polarimeter (CoMP) instrument to measure the polarization of light emitted by the solar corona in order to constrain the strength and orientation of coronal magnetic fields.  This instrument has broken new ground in making the very difficult measurement of fields in the corona.  The highly-innovative design builds on recent advances in detector technology and theory.  The design team has realized a completely novel measurement of the spatial and temporal state of the coronal field.

David Ahijevych (NESL/MMM), Barbara Brown (RAL/JNT), Randy Bullock (RAL/JNT), Chris Davis (NCAR/ASP), Tressa Fowler (RAL/JNT), Eric Gilleland (RAL/JNT), John Halley Gotway (RAL/JNT), Anne Holmes (RAL/JNT), Tara Jensen (RAL/JNT), and Paul Oldenburg (RAL/JNT) for developing and supporting Model Evaluation Tools (MET).  MET is a highly-configurable, state-of-the-art suite of verification tools used in 92 countries by more than 1000 registered users.  While MET was developed using output from the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, the tools are useful in evaluating forecasts from other modeling systems as well.  MET facilitates efforts of researchers, operational meteorologists, and students to evaluate model forecasts, and it also encourages them on an ongoing basis.  Creating new verification capabilities is an essential element of the MET effort. 

Education and Outreach Award Nominations

Wen-Chau Lee (EOL/RSF), Jorgen Jensen (EOL/RAF), Steven Oncley (EOL/ISF), Maureen Donovan (EOL/DFS and RSF), Briesa St. Martin (EOL/RAF), Santiago Newbery (EOL/CDS), Jim Moore (EOL/DFS), Kathleen Barney (ASP), Scott Briggs (ASP), Steven Rutledge (Colorado State University), Patrick Kennedy (Colorado State University), Robert Cifelli (was Colorado State University now at NOAA), Al Rodi (University of Wyoming), and Jeff French (University of Wyoming) for their organization of the 2009 Advanced Study Program Colloquium, "Exploring the Atmosphere:  Observational Instruments and Techniques."  The organizers prepared for more than a year to make this colloquium a success.  The colloquium itself was accomplished in two weeks with a group of eager graduate students, who assumed all roles in planning, executing, and analyzing data from a field experiment involving research aircraft, radars, and other facilities.  All of the students valued not only access to equipment but also to professional scientists and to each other.  They gained valuable experience, increased their level of enthusiasm, and learned new skills that will allow them to lead future observationalists.  In addition, materials from the Colloquium have been and will continue to be distributed to classrooms around the world to allow countless others to learn from this activity. 

Michael Dixon (RAL/HAP) for his outstanding work teaching students, scientists, and weather forecasters how to utilize software he developed to better forecast precipitation events – the Thunderstorm Identification, Tracking, Analysis and Nowcasting (TITAN) system.  This system is used in both research and operational communities in the U.S. and 25 other countries. Michael has created and refined a website that allows users to download and implement TITAN; he provides hands-on support to guide them in their use of the system; and he conducts workshops tailored to their specific weather forecasting needs.  He also created a simple, step-by-step manual for TITAN users.  He has established an International TITAN Users' Group as well.  He travels frequently to provide hands-on consulting, training, and technical support for users around the world and hosts foreign visitors here at NCAR.  Mike works closely with users to help them overcome issues of reformatting their own data to be used in TITAN to address weather conditions in their area.  In 2009 he also helped organize and lead a TITAN training workshop in Belem, Brazil, which was attended by 80 people from South America, the U.S., Australia, South Africa, China, and Senegal.  Mike's efforts have clearly had a major impact internationally in transferring nowcasting capabilities into operations.   

Gordon Bonan (NESL/CGD) for his seminal textbook Ecological Climatology, which is an enduring legacy to education.  This textbook (which is in the process of its third edition in 12 years) attests to its widespread usage and impact on science education.  It is Gordon's efforts on the second edition (published in 2008) and partially the third (which is due out in 2014) that comprise the basis of this nomination.  This textbook introduced a new field of study; it is highly innovative, and the development of the review questions following each chapter is one of the notable creative elements in the second edition.  Communicating with advanced undergraduates and graduate students is much more difficult than with peers, especially for someone not regularly engaged in teaching; and the degree of difficulty is multiplied by the interdisciplinary nature of the subject.  Ecological Climatology advances science education by showing the view of terrestrial ecosystems as passive components of the climate system to be incorrect.  The book recognizes the need to build a multidisciplinary framework to advance atmospheric sciences through student education.

Elizabeth Chapin (NCAR B&P), Giuliana de Toma (HAO), Barbara Emery (HAO), Yuhong Fan (HAO), Sarah Gibson (HAO), Amy Knack (HAO), Alice Lecinski (HAO), Hanli Liu (HAO), B.C. Low (HAO), Gang Lu (HAO), Keith MacGregor (HAO), Astrid Maute (HAO), Scott McIntosh (HAO), Liying Qian (HAO), Arthur Richmond (HAO), Matthias Rempel, (HAO0, Wenbin Wang (HAO), and Qian Wu (HAO) for their efforts to assist some 17 undergraduates as part of the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. This ongoing effort takes considerable commitment and dedication from these individuals and has a profound and often career-forming effect on the students who participate.  This is a five year NSF-funded program, the goal of which is to introduce undergraduate students to the interdisciplinary nature of solar and space physics.  For a number of students, the REU program is the deciding factor in their choice to go on to graduate school. The program commences with an undergraduate summer school in solar and space physics; it continues with seminars and brown-bag discussions while students work individually on a research project with the supervisor or small supervisory team.  At the end of the summer, the students then present their research findings in a 30-minute oral presentation and a poster exhibition.

Will this event be webcast to the public by NCAR|UCAR?: 
Announcement timing: 
December 2, 2010 to December 10, 2010